Gadianton Period

Rejection and Unbelief

Helaman 16:10–12

Time passes, and the majority of the Nephites continue to live in sin.

And thus ended also the eighty and seventh year of the reign of the judges, the more part of the people remaining in their pride and wickedness, and the lesser part walking more circumspectly before God. And these were the conditions also, in the eighty and eighth year of the reign of the judges. And there was but little alteration in the affairs of the people, save it were the people began to be more hardened in iniquity, and do more and more of that which was contrary to the commandments of God, in the eighty and ninth year of the reign of the judges.

Helaman 16:13–14

Many sign and wonders appear, in fulfillment of prophecy.

But it came to pass in the ninetieth year of the reign of the judges, there were great signs given unto the people, and wonders; and the words of the prophets began to be fulfilled. And angels did appear unto men, wise men, and did declare unto them glad tidings of great joy; thus in this year the scriptures began to be fulfilled.

Helaman 16:15–16

The non-believers attribute the vindicated prophesies to luck and coincidence.

Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts, all save it were the most believing part of them, both of the Nephites and also of the Lamanites, and began to depend upon their own strength and upon their own wisdom, saying:

“Some things they may have guessed right,
among so many;
but behold,
we know that all these great and marvelous works
cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken.”

Helaman 16:17–21

The non believers argue that the Messianic prophesies are not reasonable, and wonder why Jesus won’t come and appear to them as well.

And they began to reason and to contend among themselves, saying:

“That it is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come; if so, and he be the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, as it has been spoken, why will he not show himself unto us as well as unto them who shall be at Jerusalem?

Yea, why will he not show himself in this land as well as in the land of Jerusalem? But behold, we know that this is a wicked tradition, which has been handed down unto us by our fathers, to cause us that we should believe in some great and marvelous thing which should come to pass, but not among us, but in a land which is far distant, a land which we know not; therefore they can keep us in ignorance, for we cannot witness with our own eyes that they are true.

And they will, by the cunning and the mysterious arts of the evil one, work some great mystery which we cannot understand, which will keep us down to be servants to their words, and also servants unto them, for we depend upon them to teach us the word; and thus will they keep us in ignorance if we will yield ourselves unto them, all the days of our lives.”

Helaman 16:22–25

Despite the ongoing signs and wonders, many people still remain in a state on unbelief and wickedness.

And many more things did the people imagine up in their hearts, which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land , that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come.

And notwithstanding the signs and the wonders which were wrought among the people of the Lord, and the many miracles which they did, Satan did get great hold upon the hearts of the people upon all the face of the land. And thus ended the ninetieth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi. And thus ended the book of Helaman, according to the record of Helaman and his sons.